- Excellent level of standard equipment
- Very comfortable ride
- Looks stylish
- Not as much fun to drive as rivals
- Rear space is cramped
- Servicing costs can be higher than rivals
DS is a premium standalone brand from the makers of Citroen and Peugeot. The DS4 is an upmarket hatchback that competes with premium rivals at a distinctly non-premium price.
DS4 models also come with lots of standard kit, including an infotainment system and navigation, and as prices are generally below premium rivals, they also offer good value for money.
It has a hatchback-meets-coupe look, while the Crossback version offers additional ride height and plenty of space for families.
There’s a range of six petrol and diesel engines offering everything from great economy to real performance.
The DS4 has a modern and upmarket feel inside. It’s luxurious for those up front, especially if the leather chairs are fitted. It also has plenty of light thanks to the panoramic windscreen.
It has a large, chunky dash with a high centre console between the front seats. The materials are a mixture of thick, padded plastic, leather and trim accents, with much of it wrapped around the driver’s space to create a cockpit feel.
The three instrument dials have a cool ambient lighting glow to them and are easy to read, with a driver information screen providing essential info. Mounted high in the centre console is a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen that provides access to navigation, audio and connectivity functions.
Boot space is slightly bigger than some of its rivals at 385 litres, so you’ll be able to fit in a few suitcases.
The DS4 is at its best during urban commuter driving and on motorway journeys. The incredibly comfortable seats and the supple suspension combine to create a relaxing ride. It’s also great along country roads as the suspension smoothly handles bumps. You’ll be left feeling refreshed after a long drive.
The popular 1.2-litre petrol engine is very capable if you mainly do local driving. If you think you’ll drive more than 12,000 miles a year and will often drive on motorways, then a diesel will be a good option.
The 148 hp (horsepower) diesel is the best all-rounder providing performance, but it’s still good on economy. Manual gearboxes are the best choice for economy, but if you want an automatic gearbox, it would be best to buy one of the more powerful engine options such as the 2.0-litre diesel or the 1.6-litre petrol.
Prices are a great deal less than premium rivals like the Audi or Mercedes, but they’re generally slightly more than an equivalent Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.
Fuel costs are excellent with the diesels providing up to 70 mpg, but across the range, DS says that most won’t dip far below 50 mpg.
Insurance costs are likely to be slightly premium. Servicing and maintenance costs are going to be less than premium rivals.
DS is ranked as average in terms of reliability. There have been a few recalls for the DS4 but these issues will have been resolved by the dealer under warranty.
Euro NCAP hasn’t tested the DS4 but its sister car, the Citroen C4, received five stars which is the next best thing. There are multiple airbags as well as a traction control system. If you want blind spot monitoring or front parking sensors, you’ll need to buy one of the top models or one that had them fitted as an option when new.
Best for economy - 1.6 BlueHDi 118 hp Elegance
Best for family - 1.2 PureTech Elegance
Best for fun - 2.0 BlueHDi Crossback
In terms of engines, the 1.2 PureTech suits the DS4 well as you don’t need that much performance to enjoy the car. If you do want to travel further, then go with the 148 hp diesel because it offers great economy for the power available.
There are only two trim levels; the Elegance and the Prestige. The Elegance is the best choice as you don’t get much extra in the Prestige. You’ll still receive an extensive amount of kit and, with lots of personalisation on offer, chances are you’ll find one that suits you.